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From Tokyopop: In the future, random Jr. High School classes are chosen to compete in a game called Battle Royale. The rules: only one student can survive after 3 days on an island or else they all perish. Weapons are handed out and each student is sent out into the field alone and unprepared for the horror that awaits them. The classmates turn upon themselves in a battle for survival, treaties are made and broken, and former friends become foes as the relentless countdown continues. Amid the betrayals and rising body count, two classmates confess their love for each other and swear to survive this deadly game together.
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Actually Pretty Good
Now, obviously this manga is very violent and perhaps too violent for the weak of heart, but if you're like me and can't get phased by manga violence (already read Ichi the Killer and still no effect) then you can sit through this manga and actually enjoy (not really enjoy, but you get what I mean) the story.
To put it out there, yes, it really messed up what these kids have to go through, and if you're chivalrous like me, it can become painful watching the number of women (more like girls) who die. Still, it just adds to the tragic factor of this story (I'm surprised it isn't under the tragedy genre). And for those who like action, it can get pretty actiony (especially on one of the later showdowns).
Probably the one thing that annoyed me a little (other than the main antagonist and the number of dead girls) is the ending or rather the ending fight. It kind of seemed to drag on a bit. What could have been concluded in 1 chapter ended up dragging on for 3-4 chapters, IIRC. That's only enough to maybe drop my rating by .5, but when there's the amount of violence there is in this manga (especially the number of dead girls), it can become overbearing. So, even though the violence didn't phase me, I still thought that the amount of violence took away from the quality of the story.
Overall, definitely give it a shot. If you can stomach almost non-stop killing, then you can definitely find the quality in the story, and the story is very good (but on the tragic side).
Sure Battle Royale has very good action and the art work is great but! The story of Battle Royale is sick and sucks. Its about 42 students who sent to an island to kill each other till the death. The only part I found that had a story was the students past. Then needing to kill each other than dying. I found Battle Royale almost as an excuse to have teenagers kill each other. Battle Royale has a stupid mindless story and i don't recommend it.
Battle Royale- Okay...
I think it was a little too violent and too much gore for my liking, kind of made my stomach churn. Though it was pretty good but the guts and intestines bursting out after a cut was...disturbing.
Ok, after giving myself time to adjust, I really love this manga. I love this series! It's thrilling and psychological. It draws you in and won't let you go! Though lots of scenes freaked me out cause of it's gore, it's a really great manga
... Last updated on December 17th, 2009, 8:21pm
Best of the best
Out of all the manga I've read, in all categories, Battle Royale is one of my favorite ones. Instead of pure action, it deals with psychological and moral dilemmas. Sure, it's a little depressing, but it's realistic. It's similar to Lord of the Flies in some sense. It's not a shallow manga based on pure action, but there's man vs man, man vs nature, man vs himself, etc.
Graphic, Gruesome and Gory. ^_^
Story/Plot Battle Royale is basically about survival of the fittest, where kids have to duke it out with each other in a sort of "last man standing game". The problem with this set-up is that it almost completely removes the thought of getting attached to any characters because they usually end up the same way. However at least some of them are developed so well that you cannot help but get attached to them.
Artwork The artwork is great in depicting a disturbing amount of gore and violence that you'll feel sick to the stomach, because the one thing this manga is famous for is going over the top.
Final Thoughts Battle Royale is an excitingly, gut-wretching manga that will keep you on edge. It is really interesting how this manga was put together, as 15 Volumes, without the story feeling dragged out however the TokyoPop did mess it up a bit with their translations. BR is also one of the few manga out there that allow you to express so many emotions; from sadness, to frustration.
Unlike the similar manga "Gantz" BR has this lingering feeling of hopelessness that makes the story very depressing. With this really depressing story it can make Battle Royale less enjoyable to read but there's plenty of shocking moments and cliffhangers to keep you going. ^_^
I can't read this
This manga makes me want to slit my writs huddle in a corner and cry myself to sleep. it's soo depressing to read. I can't handle it. But just cause I can't handle it, doesn't mean I can't recognize that it's very well done. It's rare to find manga that can cause such strong reaction.
Battle Royale contains the usual guro, snuff, blood-spattering, and back-stabbing content that all too many of the more visceral and under/overstimulated fans expect and enjoy, with one notable difference. Had this manga continued in the same vein as most others in its’ category, I would have simply dismissed it and gone on to other things, but the issues it raises are so repugnant that I felt the need to comment on it here for the dubious benefit of those who have not yet read or watched any of the media in this franchise.
Put as simply as possible, Battle Royale involves a moral and ethical subversion in the reader. In more modern scientific terminology, it relies on triggering a cognitive dissonance in the reader to capture your attention. In modern media, you can have good characters committing evil acts (catch 22’s), and evil characters committing good acts (antiheros), along with fallen and redeemed characters switching allegiances back and forth as the plots require. Yet, for the most part, the underlying ethical structure of the universe in the story remains static, and more or less consonant with our own: good is good, and evil is still evil. In Battle Royale, this underlying subtext is carefully mutated throughout the plotline, generating an ego-trip and desensitization in the reader.
Analyzing the story with en eye towards psychological b.s. that a largly waisted college degree left me with; you can easily see the moral subversions leading to the elements designed to trigger a cognitive dissonance: characters whos' actions are clearly evil are treated in the artwork and dialog in a manner that a person familiar with manga would recognize as styles and effects more frequently used to highlight positive actions or emotions. So, too, does the moral and ethical structure of the world represented in the manga deviate horrifically from the norm: presenting a representation of individuals as ‘normal good people’ and ‘normal evil people’, while clearly showing that the society as a whole – composed of the summation of those ‘normal individuals’, is unredeemably sick, sadistic, and debased; with even the ‘best’ members of the society shown accepting without serious debate or question the atrocities around them, provided it doesn’t directly impact them. You end in a situation where you have ‘good’ characters implicitly accepting the sadistic environment that surrounds them as a positive environment. This leads to another ethically-related cognitive dissonance – where in reading the story, one has to visualize and accept the moral structure and environment in which the characters’ decisions are made, to provide the context used in rationalizing those decisions. This is, of course, something the majority of the readers will do without even recognizing it for what it is, leading to the gradual desensitization I referred to earlier.
Frankly, for a disturbingly sizeable number of it’s admirers, the resulting ego-trip of the cognitive dissonance itself is probably the appeal.
I recognize that these opinions will offend many of the people who scored this manga highly, and I apologize – a little. If you read up on the effects of cognitive dissonance (wiki it), you’ll learn that your rejection is fully expected, and perfectly normal – and seriously disturbing. I really do find this kind of psychologically manipulative, shock-value, near-propaganda manga disconcerting, and I really do feel that prospective readers should be aware that there are more serious issues in the manga, detracting from the admittedly good art, and consistent (if warped, debased, degenerate, and offensive) storyline and plot.
Better luck reading a different manga, folks.
... Last updated on September 30th, 2007, 2:36am
Not for the weak-hearted. This series is full of intense action sequences and sex, narrated by its emotionally distraught characters (who could blame them). The art is realistic and bold; never too afraid to be grotesque or gratuitous. Despite manifold attractions, the simple concept of Darwinism in this novel/manga is what really stands out. Through the program and its characters, we experience the fear, betrayal, trust, and will to survive. Some people may not find the characters credible, but I thought they were fulfilling enough to successfully depict the reactions of one driven to the depths of human limits. It's a modern Lord of the Flies and definitely worth the read.
... Last updated on September 11th, 2007, 9:59pm
this disappointed me after all. At very first chapters, the character design "of the old day" made me sick like hell which marked my negative impression on the series. The review had absorbed me, though, not much of truth. It's that the story was absurd as suspected, ends up not moving, impressive and un predictable as expected. Two final survivals dont deserve it, they played not much for their life, just cluttering tears all around. More, characters' early backgounds are also immature, incomplete, false focus, not enough for me to "feel for them"...at least the artwork add up my critique! btw, I like the review and gotta a comment on it, "you can see no more than the 2 fluids blood and tear", no, it's 3 and scum counts!